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Understanding Stream Keys and How to Use Them for Streaming

In the complicated world of live streaming, there are many tools and features you need to know how to use in order to start streaming successfully. And among those tools, there is a key component that ensures a secure and seamless connection between a broadcaster and a streaming platform, which is a crucial aspect for every streamer, and it is called a “stream key.”

This cryptographic code serves as a digital handshake, allowing content creators to broadcast their content to an audience on platforms like Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook Live. However there’s more to it and its importance, which is why we decided to make this article, where we will delve into everything related to stream keys and how to use them effectively.

Join us on this interesting read! 

What is a stream key? 

A stream key is a unique alphanumeric code generated by a streaming platform to authenticate and link a broadcaster’s streaming software or device to their account. It acts as a secure identifier, granting permission for the broadcaster to send their live content to the designated platform. 

Trying to put it in simpler terms, a stream key is like a secret code that helps connect your streaming software or app to your online platform, such as Twitch or YouTube; it’s unique to your account and allows you to broadcast your live content to the right place. Just like a key unlocks a door, a stream key unlocks the door to your live stream, letting you share your videos with your audience.

Without a valid stream key, streaming software won’t be able to connect to the chosen platform, ensuring that only authorized individuals can broadcast on a specific channel.

Why do I need a stream key? 

You need a stream key because basically, you wouldn’t be able to stream without one, as it is a crucial piece of information that links your streaming software or application to the platform where you want to broadcast. 

Besides, stream keys were also created as a safety solution as they play a crucial role in maintaining the security of a streaming channel. They act as a digital lock, preventing unauthorized access and ensuring that only the rightful owner can stream content on that particular channel.

Therefore, it’s also crucial to keep in mind that your stream key is sensitive information, and you should keep it to yourself. Avoid sharing your stream key with others, as having access to it would allow someone to initiate live streams on your channel without your authorization. 

Where do I find my stream key? 

Even though the location of your stream key may vary depending on the platform you’re using, they will generally be found under the stream settings option. 

The “Stream Key” is usually one of the first things that will pop out on the platform’s settings. Some platforms might provide a unique stream key which is the most common way; however, others may offer a combination of a stream key and a server URL, so don’t freak out if you come across such a thing, it’s the same! 

Nonetheless, here is a quick guide on how to find your stream key on some of the top streaming platforms of today: 


  • Log into your account.
  • Click on your profile in the top right corner.
  • Click on Settings.
  • On the Settings sections, look for “Channel and Video” and click on it.
  • Select “Preferences”, and then from the left-hand sidebar click on “Channel”. Your primary stream key will be at the top of the page.
  • Copy and paste your stream key into your encoding software.


  • Sign in to your channel on YouTube studio.
  • Once you’re on your Channel Dashboard, click on the “Go live” button in the top right corner (the red dot between parentheses). 
  • They will welcome you to the new YouTube Live Control Room, and there you will Click on the “Start” button right next to the “Right Now” option.
  • Click on the “Go” button right next to the “Streaming Software” option (in case you’re using an encoder.)
  • You’ll then see a screen with settings for your stream, and under “Stream Settings”, you’ll find your unique stream key.


  • Go to Facebook Live Producer.
  • Select the profile, page, or group you’re looking to stream to.
  • Once you’ve selected it, click the “Use Stream Key” button in the middle of your screen.
  • There you will see your stream key and have the chance to copy it. 


  • Log into your account.
  • Click the “Settings” menu item.
  • You’ll see a “Stream Key” option, click on it and there it will be. 

How to use a stream key? 

Fortunately for us streamers, despite its great importance, using a stream key is actually an extremely easy thing to do:

Once you get a hold of the stream key from the platform you will be using (or platforms since you could stream on various of them at the same time with the help of a multistreaming tool like Restream), all you have to do is copy it and paste it on your preferred streaming software.

Let’s say yours is Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Once the program is opened, look for the settings or preferences section and find the section that says “streaming”; the field for the stream key will pop out, and you’ll simply have to paste the copied key into this field, and that’s it, just save the changes and you’re good to go! 

Depending on your preferences and the streaming platform, you will need to configure other settings such as stream quality, resolution, and bitrate, but oftentimes you won’t have to do/change anything else. 


Understanding and effectively using a stream key is fundamental for any content creator looking to engage with an audience through live streaming since it is one of the most crucial tools of the job. 

And if you didn’t know how to use yours or even how to find it, we hope that by following this guide, you not only learnt how to, but also learnt about the power of stream keys and started to share live content with the world as it should be. 

So, without nothing more to add, we wish you a happy streaming! 

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